HOUSTON (KIAH) – Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States, killing about 42,000 women and 500 men a year. 

But since 1989, the breast cancer mortality rate has dropped 43% because of earlier detection and improved treatments.

We asked Dr. Kaitlin Bokhari, breast surgeon at Baylor Scott and White, about the latest detection tool 3D mammography and how it works.

“3D mammography works slightly different than traditional mammograms because instead of just taking two-dimensional X rays, it actually compiles very small, two-dimensional X-rays into a 3D image using computer programming. And these images are more detailed and allow radiologists to detect up to 40% more abnormalities than might originally be detected on traditional mammography. It also allows women to potentially be called back for additional imaging less by as many as 15% fewer callbacks,” she explained.